Sunday, 11 March 2012

East Anglia Fenlands wrap-up

It may be time to run an overview, two years on this personal project on East Anglia, the last step of which was reviewed by

  • UK Ordnance Survey releases some geo-data for public consumption
  • two books chronicle Fenlands geo-history since Domesday (1076)
  • HC Darby penned no less than 60 maps figures over 510 pages of text
  • notice that Parishes are a constant geo-element over almost 1000 years
  • so I extend O|S shapefiles with additional columns quantifying wealth
  • posted in UK guv and academic repository, and
  • then add web mapping service onshore and offshore geology shown below
  • and finally online validation services help quality-control various datasets
East anglia fenlands

The human element in all this are Drs. Oosthuizen and Willmoth at Cambridge University, who are indefatigably extending the necessary work to document the past and future uses of a critical area of East Anglia. They're moving to properly archive the well documented Bedford Levels Corporation: that is in itself a wonderful history of public - private partnership to resolve the critical issue of local drainage. But nowadays, not only will climate change affect the agriculture that is still key in this region, but also tourism that is seen as the next big thing in an era of staycation (staying near home for vacations).
click image to enlarge

The local element is how much one can read in maps and meeting local people on the current geo-history. I repost this intriguing map above this is a sea level rise map - it may be speculative, but mimics exactly the extend of the pre-drainage marshes - the necklace of villages, two of them with the suffix 'beach' (coastline) and Reach with the remains of Roman docks attests to evidence of a watery past. This region offers a superb opportunity not only to document its historic past in a graphic fashion, but also to make it accessible to the public using current technologies, public data and a little bit of work.